Presence Over Production

January 19, 2011

I’ve noticed my life slowing down to a crawl lately. Well, not probably a crawl by any stretch of the means, but a crawl for me. I am reading less and producing less than I did before. I think it’s because we have a three month old…

I’m such a task oriented person that it’s hard to bite the bullet and just be present sometimes. I am enjoying a lot more unscripted, unplanned, free time, which we spend hanging out on the floor playing with toys and listening to music. It’s lots of laughing and talking and spitting up. I am content to pass the winter nights with a cup of tea in one hand, a baby sitting next to me and a leisurely book read…

It’s just that there is a voice in my head telling me that I am not doing enough at a quick enough pace. I tend to read and write at a frenetic pace if given the space—that is my production. Now I am having to learn to tune down the voice in my head telling me to move on from one thing to the next and just be present. It’s the constant call of acedia to a general state of restlessness when I am being called to slow down and be present instead of being a producer.

What are some ways you have found to be more present and less of a producer?

Thomas

Thomas

Posts Twitter Facebook

Thomas Turner has been blogging on Everyday Liturgy for the past six years. He enjoys reading, writing, cooking and gardening.

6 responses to Presence Over Production

  1. That right there is part of why I’m afraid to have a child. My brain would explode or something. Well, that and I’ll probably faint while my wife is in labor.

    I’m glad that you’re able to realize this and to work on being present. I think creative types can be restless, especially when the experts are all like: Read constantly! Write Constantly! Network Constantly!

    • Thomas

      It’s an adjustment, but it ends up bringing out the best of both worlds. Needing to be more present is soaking into my creative life. And a cute baby makes networking in person easier!

    • Thomas

      It’s an adjustment, but it ends up bringing out the best of both worlds. Needing to be more present is soaking into my creative life. And a cute baby makes networking in person easier!

  2. Thanks for your thoughtful post. This is a critical issue in ministry, and in life. Is our identity dependent on our doing? It’s essential to have a sense of self apart from what we produce. Sure, work is important, but it’s not the most important thing. This is a counter-cultural idea. Babies and small children are great teachers, so you can thank yours!

    I have found the practice of contemplative prayer, over years, to be a great help in being more present.

    • Thomas

      I agree! Contemplative prayer has been a help to me as well. I also enjoy writing prayers. I feel more present when doing that. My mind and body are more focused.

  3. I would continue to just do what you already are. Learn to enjoy those moments of being with the ones you love. We all need to realize that God calls us to enjoy His presence and not believing that our production is a sign of spiritual accomplishment.

Leave a Reply